Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fat Brat

I had an unexpectedly emotional day. I saw a commercial for The Glee Project, which I hadn't realized was on. I was able to watch all the episodes On Demand. There is a fat girl and she can sing and dance and is hella cute. So right a way I'm rooting for her since they just disappeared the last fat girl. But it doesn't take long to see that she's kind of argumentative and resistant. I found myself trying to defend her behavior and not really being able to do it. And then she was doing an audition and the big guy on Glee (sorry, I forget his name) says something about the show being about victims and ... she isn't one.
It was right on. She's bold and confident and kind of a brat. So. Um. I don't think she's going to make it onto the show but I think she can have a career in music if she wants one. I wish I liked her more. I do like brats. Sometimes.
I find contest shows emotional. I don't really watch many because I get upset when some people leave. And this show is full kids who you want to root for and some who you know won't make it. Plus there's the music. I was in tears. More than once.
Then someone on Facebook linked a new film about Cheryl Haworth.  Cheryl is one of the people who puts a lie to the fat = unhealthy always. But she feels big and cumbersome and not attractive.
I just. I don't know. My day was full of scrubbing and dusting because I have a friend coming for a visit. And when I'd take a break I'd watch these things and then be full of thought and feeling and covered in Comet.
We need the stories about these women. We need the diversity. I love when my rush to defend the fat girl gets waylaid by her lack of need to be defended. And I want the fat girls who hate trying on clothes to get their brat on.


Monday, June 25, 2012


There was an interesting discussion on the Chris Hayes show Sunday. It was centered on events in Egypt but extended to a general discussion on revolution and power. One of the panelist was George Martinez who brought a radical Occupy perspective. There was moment between him and another guest, which I wish I could copy from a transcript so I could be very clear. How I remember it, or how I took it was that George felt like revolutionaries made change by resisting the push to be part of institutional politics and another person somewhat pedantically said but then they never had power.
It made me think about all the years I ignored anything that was happening inside the beltway, or the statehouse and focused on everything alternative. My feeling was that the system was so corrupt and sick that there was no way to participate. I think I even skipped voting in at least one election. I believed the system would destroy itself and be replaced by alternative, new age, hippie, collective, peace and love. Or something like that.
There is power inside the beltway, which is why I vote now. And why I make an effort to understand things. But there is also power in the streets. I'm often so discouraged by the tone of things. I listen to too much talk news. Even when I agree I often wish for a more specific articulation. I still think the system is sick and broken and possibly irredeemable. But I vote.
Paul Auster wrote a short piece in the New Yorker ( hate when I can't link to things) in which he describes a trip on which he was angry and having a fit because a taxi driver wouldn't accept his fare. It wasn't far enough. Auster has a fit in which he almost loses a manuscript. Then he sees a woman walking gracefully along, balancing a bundle on her head, carrying a baby in a snuggy and a bag in each hand. Moving with the ease and balance of someone who is not expecting more. Not expecting fair. Not expecting right.
While the political ads spin and the Supreme Court manipulates and the corporations spend there are people carrying the weight of their lives with grace and dignity. 
That's power.